When your employer suddenly fires you from your job, this can be upsetting. But what happens when you believe the dismissal was unfair and are working for an at-will company that reserves the right to terminate any employee as the owners see fit? This can make taking legal action difficult; however, there are a few ways you can exercise your employee rights in the wake of an alleged wrongful termination.
Many companies operate under an employment-at-will policy. According to FindLaw, this means either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment agreement without warning or for any cause. This means the employer may lay you off indefinitely or fire you for a reason it sees as plausible.
Fortunately, if you believe your employer fired you unfairly or because of discrimination, there are several laws that can help protect you. Statutory rights, provided under state and federal law, require that your employer provide a fair warning if company-wide layoffs are imminent and also protect you from termination upon the discovery of your religion, ancestry or disability. In addition, an employer cannot fire you for bringing forth a complaint regarding any individual within the company, including your supervisors.
If you signed a contract with your employer, you may want to review your copy if you plan to sue for wrongful dismissal, as the company may have to obey its terms under any dismissal clause. However, the same terms bind you, as well, so it may be wise to return to this and any other documents you signed at the start of your employment.